The Wild Duck - After Hedda Gabler in the National Theatre in Ostrava, director Jan Mikulášek returns to Henrik Ibsen once more. In The Wild Duck, as in his previous production, Ibsen puts the emphasis on the artistic element of the production, with well thought-out lighting, use of colour and contrast between light and dark. Through the exaggeration and metamorphosis of emotions, the use of unexpected props and paradoxical situations, he focuses on the grotesque and thus also ironic side of the production, without detracting from the seriousness of the subject.
"The Wild Duck – The central theme of The Wild Duck is truth versus lies. All the play’s characters, with the exception of the innocent Hedvig, are keeping something secret, keeping quiet, pretending something. Even the messenger of the truth – Gregers, who feels that he is the saviour of Hjalmar Ekdal’s family happiness, but whose actions in reality causes the tragic end of the play – does not want to talk about his past. Since 1946 The Wild Duck has been shown a total of five times in the Czech lands, including a production directed by Ivan Rajmont at the National Theatre, and one by Jan Nebeský at the Theatre in Dlouhá Street.
Mikulášek’s work provides an excellent example of how to build a production that is free of traditional realism, while at the same time drawing us in and making us emotionally replete with just the same – indeed, maybe even greater – intensity.
(by Karolína Stehlíková, i-literatura)
"(…) this sets off a sequence of events that are comic in themselves, but which hasten towards an inevitable tragedy. The flood of ridiculous ideas is dominated by the enlargement of significant props – the duck almost fills the entire house, the actors throw giant eggs to each other and read letters that are A3 size. By enlarging these details, the director develops this family tragedy step by step into monstrously grotesque proportions."
(by Naďa Satková, www.nekultura.cz)
"Hedvig is definitely not a sweet child, but an ungainly, rather gangly girl in ugly clothes, with huge circles painted under her eyes that are a permanent reminder of her illness. In her hand she grasps a headless doll, which she treats like a mere puppet. She herself, however, is to a certain extent the puppet, since she is the innocent victim of a conflict between truth and lies. The director does not drown this in sentiment, but by hyperbolising emotions and their changes, the use of unexpected props and paradoxical situations, focuses on the grotesque and thus also the ironic aspect of the production. We are thus allowed to laugh, without it changing anything in the seriousness of the subject."
(by Jana Paterová, Lidové noviny)